Lo­cal takes on new role

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Tawa’s new com­mu­nity con­sta­ble has a vested in­ter­est in mak­ing sure the sub­urb’s safe – she lives there.

An of­fi­cer for six years, all of these on gen­eral du­ties based at the Porirua sta­tion, Sarah Rid­der­ing says it was ‘‘a com­bi­na­tion’’ of be­ing asked to ap­ply and seek­ing out the po­si­tion va­cated by the long-serv­ing Peter Reeves.

It was a pro­tracted process, fill­ing Mr Reeve’s boots, with Tawa with­out a ded­i­cated com­mu­nity cop for some months, but Ms Rid­der­ing is happy to fi­nally get her feet un­der the desk in the base on Cam­bridge St.

‘‘It’s only [been] week two, there’s plenty for me to get my head around – I haven’t even got a com­puter yet. But I’ve met the Tawa Com­mu­nity Pa­trol guys, some of the com­mu­nity board mem­bers, dif­fer­ent re­tail­ers, and in­tend to do plenty more of that. Peo­ple have been very wel­com­ing.’’

The chance to be proac­tive and deal with com­mu­nity is­sues, rather than the re­ac­tive role she had be­fore in Porirua, is ap­peal­ing.

‘‘Work­ing on the front line for six years has been good but I was in­ter­ested in try­ing dif­fer­ent things. Tawa’s got a lot of the struc­tures al­ready in place, so my job will just to be work­ing with what’s al­ready hap­pen­ing, and de­vel­op­ing things if that’s what’s needed. You have to learn what the com­mu­nity re­quires, lis­ten and get in­volved.’’

Orig­i­nally from the small King Coun­try town of Ohura, west of Tau­marunui, means Ms Rid­der­ing is used to the small­town at­mos­phere. It’s been a quiet start for her, the frigid weather keep­ing tag­ging and crime to a min­i­mum.

Ms Rid­der­ing says she will be out at Tawa’s po­lice base, in the com­mu­nity cen­tre, on a daily ba­sis.

Even when she isn’t, be­cause a com­mu­nity con­sta­ble has other du­ties as well, the ‘‘ su­perb’’ group of vol­un­teers that man the of­fice will en­sure she gets all her mes­sages.

‘‘We [the po­lice] could not give the ser­vice we do with­out the likes of the vol­un­teers.

‘‘I’m only one per­son here in Tawa, af­ter all.’’

New on the beat: Tawa’s new com­mu­nity con­sta­ble lives lo­cally with her hus­band and is look­ing for­ward to in­ter­act­ing with peo­ple in her new role.

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